NASELLE - Fifth-grade students at Naselle School are certainly proficient enough with computers and other high-tech tools, but they also learned recently that they can rely on their minds and hands to get the job done, too.

The assignment that saw this happen follows with state history requirements to study the development of the United States. Students were asked to create something using only low-level technology, the kind they would have used had they been alive in Colonial or Civil War eras.

"No plastic?" one student asked. "Nothing made with nylon or elastic?"

"We can't use any electricity?" asked one student.

"Can I use rubber bands?" Alex B. asked. "When were they invented?"

Students brought their projects and their project journals to school Tuesday Jan. 27. Projects were as varied as the students and their families' interests. They included soap made from ash, a rag rug, a cloth doll, deer jerky, stew made on an outdoor fire, beeswax candles and a seed necklace. Other projects included hand-spun wool, a quilt, a leather quiver, a bow, crocheted doilies and a scarf and knitted and crocheted pot holders. Others made a felt tricorn hat, a sundial, a flag, salt made from sea water, butter, brooms and rakes, natural cloth dye and a "mancala."

What did students have to say about the projects?

"It was really cool, but my dad and I had to be really careful about using the ax," said one student.

"It was confusing to use only low-tech stuff," said another. "My arms are sore from shaking the cream!"

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